tv Washington Journal CSPAN March 22, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT
oklahoma attorney general scott per which will take your calls at 8:30. -- pruitt will take your calls ♪ ♪ host: military action in libya enters day four. you're looking at video from earlier this morning, courtesy of al-jazeera. debate over military action increases at home with both democrats and republicans calling on president obama to clarify the mission. we'll get your thoughts on the role of congress in libya. start dialing in now.
let me begin with a story on rawstory.com. dennis kucinich is quoted, "i'm raising the question as to whether or not it is an impeachable offense." "we have to clearly understand what this constitution is about." that is from dennis kucinich in an exclusive story. he has also been tweeting about this. this is a tweet from yesterday. that was a sweet -- a tweet from
a quote from president obama in 2007 with "the boston globe." he talks about a presidential constitutional authority to declare war. back then, he said "the president does not have the power under the constitution to unilaterally authorize military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." that is a quote from then senator obama in "the boston globe." it also talks about then senator joe biden. he argued that the prison would not have authority under the constitution to bomb iranian nuclear sites without
congressional authorization. "truman said it was enough that the united nations security council, new at the time, had granted permission." president obama, yesterday, in a letter to speaker boehner, outlined his decision. he said, "united states forces are conducting a limited and well-defined mission to support of international efforts to protect civilians in prevent humanitarian disaster."
host: that is president obama's letter to speaker john boehner yesterday. we will get your thoughts on this. the thing the president needs to clarify the mission? does he need congressional approval? first, joining us on the phone is the middle east correspondent with "the los angeles times." where are you right now? guest: in in tripoli. host: what is the latest on the
ground? guest: in the capital, it's quiet and subdued. a few hours ago, however, there was sustain anti-aircraft fire and tracer fire and this guy -- trace of a fire in the sky. the loud noises of missile strikes in the distance. we were not sure what the targets were. according to government officials, targets included airports and harbors. they say they were civilian targets, but there's evidence they have military uses, as well. host: there have been reports in the paper and the associated press has been reporting, as well, that the no-fly zone has been extended to tripoli. is that correct? guest: i'm sort of in a bubble. i'm not sure. it has been days that there have been no flights in and out of tripoli or anywhere in the country.
what does it mean to say that the no-fly zone has been extended? i have a feeling it is just sort of a political way of describing the situation in order to show progress to the american people. host: what do you mean you are operating in a bubble? what is it like? guest: we're in a hotel and many of the journalists are not allowed to leave the hotel without minders. there are a lot of checkpoints everywhere. internet has been shut down. there's no internet, not even in the hotel. only via personal satellite connections can we connect to the internet. it's very hard to set up and it is slow and rather expensive. many parts of the country are cut off from all television -- from all telephone service, including rebel-held parts of the country. we are not able to get in touch
with those areas, at all, unless they have a satellite connections. host: what are you watching for today? guest: i'm not sure what will happen today. everything is a little different. just waiting for the evening to fall and then go out and get a temperature of the city, if at all possible. more air strikes in more anti- aircraft fire and try to figure out what was hit in that time. host: what are you hearing from colonel gaddafi's regime? guest: his spokesmen are calling this a barbaric war that is illegal and immoral. they say that this is part of a conspiracy, a plot on the part of the western powers to steal libya's oil. they say they want the powers to come here and see that they are not fighting -- that they're not
killing civilians. host: what are the rebel forces asking for? guest: i did not hear the question. host: what are they rebel forces saying? guest: the rebel forces are on the other side of the country. from what i can see, the rebels are saying that the coalition air strike gives them the breathing space for them to regain the momentum that they have lost a couple weeks ago and possibly start moving on and if thatronghold falls, it's pretty much a straight shot to the capital. host: thank you very much for joining us on the phone. he is a middle east correspondent for "the los angeles times." thank you. let's go to a democrat in delaware. we're talking about congress's role in attacks in libya.
we'll go to an independent in maryland. go ahead. caller: good morning. host: good morning. caller: i have a few things. i've been looking up the war powers resolution of 1973 and one of the stipulations -- obama has to describe the estimated scope and i do not think he has properly done that. him and admiral mike mullen are on different pages. we do not really know where the -- the opposition to gaddafi is. we do not know what kind of government they will fall into afterwards.
this is not a popular move. the head of the arab league has condemned this and says it has gone beyond what they ask for. i believe we still have one missing pilot. what authority do we have to do this? we have gone around congress and obama has said he will follow the un and not listen to our representatives and not even have a debate on this. i think that's a deplorable thing to do. if we're going to do this action in libya, why do we not do it in other countries in similar situations with autocratic dictator's? ast: let's go to ruth, democrat in madison, ohio. caller: i'm very confused about
the fact that every time this president does something, no matter what, that everybody in this country seems to stand up and oppose him, at least the people in congress, whether they are democrats or republicans. this man cannot do anything unless somebody opposes him. libya has been a problem for a long time. i know that a lot of young people do not remember how long they've been a problem. it is almost necessary, when the un says we really need to do something about this. you have all the rest of these coalition countries going in with us. we are not going in by ourselves shooting up libya. i get confused by the press and the people not understanding what kind of threat this man poses. thank you very much for my time.
host: this is from house speaker john boehner. he put out the statement on sunday, saying the u.s. has "a moral obligation to stand for those who seek freedom from oppression. the violence must stop. the president is the commander- in-chief, but the administration has the responsibility to define what the mission is and make clear how it will be accomplished before any further military commitments are made. the administration must do a better job of communicating to the american people and congress." we will go to michigan, jeff, an independent. you are on the "washington journal." caller: thank you for c-span. i'm so proud this morning. i do not think any american
president would stand there and watch a million people being tortured by this criminal. it just makes me angry as an e x-servicemen. i know the president did the right thing. he saved the lives of these innocent people. these people are not soldiers. these are just innocent people. what do kucinich and gingrich think the president of the united states stands for? host: "washington times" front- page, "hill falls silent as libya war rages." "congress is not in session this
week. they're back in their districts and in their home states working, talking with constituents." jim, republican, go ahead. caller: good morning. muslims have been slaughtering christians in darfur for years. we never went in there to save people. the bottom line is the law was broken. you need to go to congress before you wage war. truman did it, johnson did it, and bush did it. three of the previous four were democrats. you could argue bush was a democrat, too. he spent like a democrat and he started an unsustainable social program like a democrat. and now we have obama, who ignores the constitution at every turn. i think impeachment should be
started. host: jim, i want to get your reaction to "the washington post" editorial. they say it is legal. they write this -- "from hostage rescues to humanitarian relief to enforcement of no-fly zones." "presidents have ordered forces without prior congressional authorization. president obama did not need a vote of congress.
this could change, however, if the operation mutates into something longer and more ambitious, as wars are often want -- often wont to do." host: jim, what do think? caller: i guess i think, at this time, when we are going through unbelievable government debt and we are trying to go through a debate in congress right now to limit our spending and we cannot even agree on one% or 2% spending cuts and we just lost
the $20 million f-15 yesterday. if you are going to do that in libya, why didn't you do it in darfur? we could probably list of eight other countries but we do not have the money to do it. he's just following the strategy to try to bankrupt our country and get us into a more socialistic-communistic country. host: terry is a democrat in delaware. good morning. caller: good morning. the article that you just read spells it all out. all the talk by dennis kucinich and palin is just talk in politics. the president does not need congressional approval to commit u.s. military forces for 60 days, especially if it is
limited. remember, this is not a unilateral action. this is in response to the u.n. resolution. host: do you think it would do the president well if he were to clarify this mission more with members of congress, maybe in a joint session of congress, and to the american people? guest: -- caller: i do not think it would hurt. naturally, in terms of playing politics, it would probably be inadvisable thing to do. i am assuming, however, that he did not plan to commit u.s. military forces beyond the 60 days. host: president obama, on a trip to latin america, made a stop yesterday in chile. at a joint news conference with their leader, he addressed the situation in libya and talked about the military. >> i could not be prouder of the
manner in which the u.s. military has performed over the last several days. it's a testament to the men and women in uniform. when they are given a mission, they execute and do an outstanding job. obviously, our military is obviously very stretched. it carries large burdens all around the world. whenever possible, for us to be able to get international cooperation, not just in terms of words, but also in terms of planes, pilots, and resources, that is something we should actively seek and embrace. it relieves the burden on our military and on u.s. taxpayers to fulfil what is an international mission. host: we will go to morgan county, tennessee. an independent. congress's role attack in libya. what do you think? caller: i'm wondering who is president he is.
the united states or the entire world? he should be at home, instead of in brazil and in other countries. host: ben what date -- ben, what they think about this debate? caller: i think they should and teach him -- should impeach him. host: good morning. caller: it seems to me they are harboring a lot of hatred. they are crying that he is spending too much money. first one thing and then something else. it's disgusting the way they talk about him like he is nothing. it makes me so angry. the woman stole my thunder early on. why didn't they complain when he was -- for the last 10 years. i did not hear all this
impeachment talk. thank you very much. host: one caller mentioned that one of the firefighters -- one of the fighter pilots has been lost. here is the ap. we will keep you updated on that. roberts, a democrat, in wisconsin. you are next caller:. caller: i am for obama. i was in the korean war. i get sick of when i hear these people calling. they cannot stand a black man in office. he's far better. i wish he would have taken a
trip to sweden. the only thing i disagree with obama on -- one of the three houppelande the iraq war to put halliburton's oil field over there. host: "the new york times" decision to gos into libya. "the arab league is sending mixed messages." the editorial goes on to say, "we hope president obama sticks to its mission."
they said "there's no perfect formula for military intervention and it must be used sparingly." "the new york times" says it should not be used in yemen or bahrain. ohio.go to caller: i'm a muslim american, a republican, and i'm not a fan of president obama. he did what i think. remember, the middle east is a very confusing place.
all this passive aggressive congressman and senators -- they need to know what they're talking about. obama did a great thing. it's in our national interest to stabilize the middle east. libya is a special case. i'm not saying we need to attack all other countries. gaddafi is a terrorist. he killed our citizens in lockerbie. god bless america. host: "the washington times" editorial this morning, "president obama, mission creep ." "they point to the united nations mandate." by comparison, george bush's administration, president obama was to criticizing, had an even
stronger resolution and the two of the time to get congressional buy-in, as well. questions remain about the scope in libya and long-term consequences." we will go to hollywood, florida. theresa, an independent. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. i did not wivotes for president obama -- vote for president obama. i wish i had. he did exactly what he said he was going to do. he went in with the allied forces. i come from a strong military background and i believe this is not an unnecessary war. this is a war that we have to go against, because of terrorism. this is one of the press presents -- this is one of the best presidents.
i'm 54 years old. this president has decided to wait to make sure that our men are secure. i think he has done the right thing, as well as securing our borders all the way through the united states. host: the democratic line, federal way, washington. good morning. caller: good morning. i believe that gingrich and kucinich are taking the opportunity for sound bite politics to take advantage of a situation when they should be praying for the families and the men who are out putting their lives on a line right now, instead of worrying about taking advantage of any little ploy they can impose upon the
political scene today. host: joe, a republican in wisconsin. your thoughts? caller: just listening to the last few callers, i do not think they have a clue. first of all, libya and the whole middle east -- they will fight to the end and kill each other over the drop of a hat. they've been doing it for ions of time. for us to go into libya and take out gaddafi -- the biggest question i have is, we have the words of praise that the french are running into. if gaddafi says, france, i'm coming after you, they will run and hide.
we are in over our heads right now as far as -- you know, we should clean up every mess we've got going right now and get out of there. as far as this lady says, we have our borders secure -- ope comingns of god through mexico. host: yesterday, president obama talked about the transfer of authority over who will lead the action in libya and that it would have been in a matter of days, not weeks. here is what he had to say. >> with respect to libya, obviously, the situation is evolving on the ground. how quickly this transfer takes place will be determined by the recommendations of our commanding officers that the first phase of the mission has
been completed. as i said, our initial focus is taking out libyan air defenses so a no-fly zone can operate effectively and aircraft and pilots of the coalition are not threatened when they are maintaining the no-fly zone. the second aspect is insuring that the humanitarian aspect of the mission can be met. let me emphasize that we anticipate this transition to take place in a matter of days and not a matter of weeks. host: a lot of debate in the international community about who takes over once the united states starts to withdraw. is it france, britain, or nato? the arab league says it does not want the operation to be placed entirely under the responsibility of nato. that is the report on monsters
andcritics.com. in "the new york times" -- "medvedev and putin clashed over libya." here's a quote from medvedev. that is what is happening in russia. this dispute between the two leaders is likely to impact talks that defense secretary robert gates is slated to have today with russian leaders. that is the associated press this morning. here is "the wall street journal" this morning on the international community. a few quotes from the foreign minister of italy.
here is turkey's prime minister saying, "if nato goes into operation, we have some conditions." that is "the wall street journal." years the front page of "the wall street journal" this morning. "the italian formeforeign minisr called for command of operations and forcing the no-fly zone to be passed to nato, suggesting the use of italy's seven military bases by coalition forces lacked proper coordination." that is the front page of "the wall street journal" this morning. "the financial times" has this story.
"the french move, that included launching the first attack against libya without formally informing its allies, angered u.s. and u.k. officials." host: index, arizona -- phoenix, arizona. caller: thank you. i do think gaddafi should go personally. i do not like him. i have several points. if you do the math, just the tomahawk missiles we sent over this week was $1.1 billion.
secondly, in attacking the ground forces of gaddafi, we've violated our own un resolution for the arms and bar go -- arms embargo. we have already violated that. we have overstepped the arab league's mandate on a no-fly zone. given the current situation, we trained these protesters and funded them in all these other countries. how about bahrain, saudi arabia, and syria, but not ok for gaddafi? host: democratic line, orlando, florida. caller: regarding libya, i find it interesting that the media has called it a revolution for two months, but started calling it what it really is last week, a civil war.
the rebels are not equipped to take on leadership or anything else. i was very surprised and suspicious when all these uprisings throughout so many countries began. it seems very well coordinated. i remember the iranian revolution. there were reports that the cia under bush planned and instigating the revolution in iran. they've put our president between a rock and a hard place. think about this. who benefits? the military industrial complex. host: she mentioned skepticism about who takes over in libya. here is "the new york times" this morning with david ice.patrick's pe
i think he should explain what is going on. host: according to wikipedia, here's a look des libya on the world -- here is a look of libya on the world map. in its history of independence, it was relinquished -- it got its independence from italy in 1947, from the united kingdom and france in 1951. let's go to robert, an independent and florida -- independent in florida. good morning. caller: john mccain and all them were raising heck because they did not anything -- because they did not do anything two weeks ago.
they are going to keep dividing the country and public opinion around the world. it's wrong not to stand united when a man made the right decision. i hope they will add what is going on. other than that, i hope he brings the oil prices down. host: front page of "the guardian" this morning. "is gaddafi a target?" good morning. we will go on to organ. -- we will go on to oregon and a land -- and lou anne. caller: why now? why are we pushing for a third war?
why is our president out of the country now? why are all of a are senators out of congress now? what's the undercurrent? the muslim brotherhood -- who are we backing? are we going to get somebody worse than gaddafi? what is going on? we have got to realize that this is their country and they have to come up with their own democracy. we are not god. i'm very disappointed in the democrats that do not have the guts to say, "mr. president, you are out of line." who is running this country? the united nations? they do not own this country. they do not run this country we are a democracy, voted on by the people and for the people. who is our president in the
white house and who is running them? host: yemen is on the front page of the newspapers. here is "the new york times" this morning. the update from ap out of yemen's says a spokesman for the president says the leader is willing to step down by the end of this year as part of a constitutional transfer power. new jersey, maria is a democrat. good morning. caller: listen. everybody blames obama, which is wrong. we have a crazy secretary of state running around, bringing communism around the world instead of freedom. i do not think she knows the difference between freedom and communism. she was a communist before and she is a communist now.
she is doing horrible things. i would suggest that sheet is put into a mental institution and take her away. host: you are blaming secretary of state hillary clinton for this. caller: yes, i do. i will tell you something. obama is a smart man. i do not know how he could get himself into this. host: maria -- caller: now we are in trouble. host: you and others may be interested in the back story from last week leading up to saturday's bombing. on nationaljournal.com, " obama's first new war."
it goes on to say that "on tuesday during a meeting with his national security team, obama said he wanted a new policy." "defense secretary gates wanted to game out scenarios, knowing that any no-fly zone would necessity -- would necessitate other things that would look like an invasion, no matter how carefully it was done. gates warned that a no-fly zone would be ineffective." again, this is nationaljournal.com.
carl, a republican in mississippi. good morning. caller: good morning. i noticed that you quote "the new york times" and "the wall street journal." why don't we quote people like don bolton, who used to be an ambassador for the united states? is the arab league of nations -- they were on fox news the other day. they're not going to do anything. they are all dictatorships themselves and they do not want to fall like libya did. what kind of a muslim president do we have that would fight with libya, but he will not fight with iraq? when he was elected president, he did not want to go into iraq. host: you think the president is a muslim, even though he says he is a christian. caller: he says he is a christian, but look at what kind of actions he takes.
why go against libya all the sudden? when he was running for president, he was against what bush did in the bush years. one thing about bush, he went to congress and hillary clinton and they all opposed him going into iraq. you could say that for bush. host: president obama was not in congress when the vote took place then. an update on japan. here is "the baltimore sun." "day of gains, setbacks at nuclear plant." "attacks, that came despite fervent efforts to prevent the
further release of radioactive material." also this morning in the papers are plenty of stories about the former republican governor from minnesota, temple and take -- from minnesota, tim pawlenty is setting up an exploratory committee. little that there's exploratory against the former governor's run. lots in the papers today about his decision. here's another piece from "usa today." "top republican fund-raisers in standby mode."
the story says that the republican party's biggest fund- raisers were made on the sidelines. only about 60 of the 430 leaders have donated to the campaign accounts of next year's potential presidential contenders. one last phone call on this question -- congress's role attack in libya. let's go to florida. democratic line, go ahead. caller: good morning. i think it is rather outrageous that president obama should let himself be dragged into something that he does not quite understand. first of all, i think there should be an investigation as to why france is leading the way. a group of people that they supposedly have no idea what their ideology is.
i think it is rather cynical for a war to have gotten started in a muslim country in the north of africa with basically 6 million inhabitants. i think it's a matter of divide and conquer. somebody in congress should investigate as to who instigated this matter. we had egypt and tunisia. if somebody comes in your country and you feel there's an instigator, of course you are going to defend. i hate to say it. it's a classic case of what has altered [inaudible] host: we will leave it there.
that does it on congress's role attack in libya. a previous caller mentioned john bolton. here are his comments on national review online greeting says he would have put troops on the ground and obama's strategy could lead to "quagmires." coming up, we'll talk to the ranking member of the house budget committee, rep chris van hollen, democrat of maryland. we will be right back. ♪ ♪ fo ♪ the c-span video library is now
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continuing resolution was passed to keep the government funded through april 8. what is the status of this? who is talking and who is doing the negotiating? guest: there are negotiations going on between members of congress and between members of congress and the white house and among the staff. you are absolutely right. we left with a three-week extension and we have to use these three weeks to resolve the issue once and for all for the remainder of the fiscal year. doing this sort of herky-jerky approach to keep the government running is no way to run a government. we need to focus on other issues, including putting together the budget for the next year. that should be our focus. host: you missed one week because you are out. are there lawmakers to in the negotiation, or is it just on the staff level between the white house and congress?
is your staff part of this? guest: we are part of the conversations, but the conversations are just getting off the ground right now. there are some communications between the white house staff and the staff of some of the republican leadership in the house. we are certainly part of being plugged into the conversations that are going on. i do not want to suggest that there are a lot of top-level negotiations going on right now. there are conversations. host: our house democrats at the table -- are house democrats at the table? guest: they are certainly in the loop. key right now is to get an agreement that congress and the white house can support. yes, we are involved in that. we are not necessarily -- we are not going to be the final arbiter.
it is going to be very important that whatever agreement is reached -- obviously, get a majority of votes in the house. there are certainly some scenarios where that would require a substantial amount of democrats in the house to get anything passed. yes, we remain very engaged in this process. host: given the last vote on this three-week continuing resolution, house republican leaders saw 54 of their own break away and vote against this. what did you think about that and what does that do to your negotiating hand? guest: that's right. you had a situation where 54 house republicans said no to the house republican leadership to taking another three weeks of cuts. that very clearly said that you have a very large group of republicans in the house that has taken this position of -- it's our way or the highway. in other words, the president of the united states, democrats in congress, you have got to take
our approach, which was very deep and immediate cuts. most economists have said it was slow down the very fragile economic recovery and put people out of work. that's a reckless approach. we need to take irresponsible approach, that would include some cuts. we should also -- we need to take a responsible approach that would include some cuts. we need to take a more comprehensive approach as we go forward, but yes, it does mean that democrats in the house may have more leverage going forward in terms of shaping the package. host: on friday, the cbo released the latest projection over the next 10 years on the deficit. in january, it had been projected that from 2011 until 2021, the deficit would reach $6.7 trillion. the new estimation is $9.5
trillion. here is "the wall street journal." "the new analysis finds that obama's budget increases the deficit by $26 billion this year, only surpassed by its own record in 2009. it would also add more than $80 billion to the deficit in 2012." guest: let's put this in context. the day the president was sworn in, he inherited a record $1.3 trillion deficit as a result of actions that were taken before he even took office. we acted very quickly to rescue an economy that was in free fall. the economy has begun to stabilize and picked up. now the key is to make sure that we have economic growth and that we do not allow us to swing back into a recession where more people are out of work. that has to be our top priority.
we also have to act now to put in place a long-term plan that predictably reduces the deficit and that -- and the debt. the president has made a very good faith effort in the budget he committed. it includes significant cuts in domestic discretionary spending that will cause considerable pain in many places around the country. it's a tough love budget. he does take domestic discretionary spending down to the lowest level as a percentage of the economy since the eisenhower administration. should we look to other areas, for example, tax reform? i think we should and we should work together to come up with a plan that will resume -- will reduce the deficits host: the cbo says they are based on keeping tax cuts for the middle class. should president obama keep to
his pledge of no tax cuts for the middle class? guest: i think the president should stick with that. he was clear in the campaign that he will not raise taxes on middle income americans. what we should absolutely do is to allow the tax breaks for the folks at the very top, the top 2% in the united states, those should lapse. we should take them back to the same tax rates during the clinton administration, when you had economic growth and over 20 million jobs created. this notion that by somehow letting the tax rate on the people at the highest income levels to go from 35% back to 39%, which it was in the clinton administration, is just dead wrong. it has been proven wrong by the
economic history of the last eight years to 12 years. we cannot afford to give tax breaks to the folks at the very top and then when those bricks lapse at the end of next year. host: when you first saw the cbo's new projections on friday, did you step back? did you have concern over this new projection of $2 trillion more than what the administration had anticipated? guest: i was not entirely surprised. we knew from the hearings that the omb used some different economic projections the than the cbo. interestingly, in the short term, the obama administration projected slower economic growth than cbo and in the zero years, they projected higher economic growth based on past patterns of recoveries. you have a difference of opinion here.
in the congress, we will operate of the congressional budget office analysis. they are the referee for the congress. we will be using their numbers going forward. i have to say it is a little bit ironic to hear some of our republican colleagues jumping on the president's budget now that it has been scored by the congressional budget office when they totally dismissed the congressional budget office's analysis of the impact of the health care law on the deficit. of course, the congressional budget office is non-partisan, independent, and indicated that enactment of the health care reform law would in fact reduce the deficits, not only over 10 years, but over 20 years. host: the cbo is out with a new projection on the health-care costs, as well do we will talk about that more, but i want to get to phone calls. we will get to a republican in california. go ahead,
we will go to vista, california. good morning. caller: yes? my name is jeff. i had a couple of questions for the gentle man. it is about the deficit. when republicans say or when they said that deficits do not matter, it's in like it was quite different from previous years. now that there is a democrat and the white house, they have switched again, so it is now " deficits matter." when does it matter and when does not matter to republicans? my other comments were about the caller that called president obama a muslim. host: let's take his first
point. when do deficits matter to the democrats? guest: with respect to democrats, we have a very clear record on deficits which is we do believe they do matter. when president clinton was in office, we passed the pay as you grow rule which says when congress adds to the deficit whether it through spending or by providing tax breaks, you have to pay for them. you have to come up with offsets. as a result of their rule, when president clinton left office, you have a projected $5.60 trillion surplus. clearly, the democrats had imposed a series of measures to have some fiscal discipline, resulting in a $5.60 trillion surplus 10 years projected. what we have seen from
republicans is back-and-forth. when the last president bush was in charge, some of the members of his cabinet were quoted as saying "deficits do not matter." if you look of their policies, they go by the rule that deficits do not matter because they took that five. $6 trillion surplus and squandered it. how? they passed the prescription drug law that they did not pay for it. secondly, we had two wars that we have not paid for as a country. tax ejected these big cuts. when you take those actions, you add significantly to the deficits and to the debt. the time has come. democrats and republicans need to get together and come up with two things. a plan to get us to the next
seven months, but more importantly for the country, a longer-term plan to put ourselves on a path for predictable and sustainable deficit reduction, and that means some cuts but also looking at the tax code, closing some of these loopholes, there is no justification for providing these big tax payer subsidies for the oil industry. anyone who has gone to the gas pump recently knows that prices are through the roof. we should not be providing that kind of windfall host: is a social security on the table for you? guest: it should be dealt the same way president reagan and tip o'neill dealt with social security. social security is 100% solvent through the year 2037. if we did nothing, social
security recipients would see a 25% drop in their benefits. yes, which should come together and act now sooner rather than later to make sure we put social security on a long-term sustainable foot and, but we are not going to balance the budget on the backs of social security recipients. the full faith and credit of the united states government is behind the payments. yes, we should come together in a bipartisan basis to ensure its long-term sustainability. host: let me show you the wall street journal story this morning. democrats are split on social security.
charleston, west virginia, go ahead. caller: a olivewood like to know what democrats keep saying -- i would like to know what the democrats keep saying about president bush. 550 billion to of that -- $550 billion of that has been repaid. guest: you can look it up under the congressional budget office or anybody's scorekeeping. when president obama was sworn in, he inherited a $1.30 trillion deficit as a result of a combination of factors, including the fact that we have the tax cuts for the folks at the very top. it also was a result of the economic slowdown. there is no doubt about that. that is one of the reasons the deficits president obama is
having to deal with our high. he has had to deal with an economy in free fall and the actions that he has had to take. the tarp legislation was initiated under president bush. it was a very difficult decision that republicans and democrats made together to try to prevent the economy from going into a second depression. president obama has had to take actions adding to the deficit including the recovery bill to help stabilize the economy and prevent us from going into a depression. those were short term, time- limited actions. as we go forward, we have to deal with some of the drivers of the deficit, including spending on different sides of the ledger, and revenue.
there is no longer any justification to provide tax breaks for the folks at the very top who are doing well and need to help contribute to the long term, fiscal health of the country. host: virginia, beach, go ahead, peggy. caller: where in the budget does all of the money, that we send overseas during times of tsunamis and earthquakes, etc.? calleguest: where they are specifically in the budget are in the state department operations for emergency relief. to the extent that we provide some of their relief through our military assets, for example, we have various ships deployed off the coast of japan to provide support as necessary. those are paid for through the
defense department budget. ultimately, the funds for both of those budgets come from the people of the united states through the taxes that people pay and revenues are raised. host: mike is an independent caller. go ahead. caller: good morning. congressman, it is hard for me to take moderate democrats and republicans seriously on this issue of fiscal responsibility. it seems to me since the president has assumed office, he has extended president bush's agenda. he has extended the wars in afghanistan, yemen, and now of course libya. maintaining employers is very expensive as you probably know. the defense budgets are bigger of the percentage of the national income than any of
president bush's budget. democrats have quietly we authorized the patriot act, allowing fbi agents to sign their own search warrants. host: we will leave it there, mike. guest: a couple of points. first of all with respect to our engagement overseas, as you know, president obama has done exactly what he said he would do in respect to iraq, which is to bring our forces home and by the end of the year we expect to see the last of the troops in iraq. with respect to afghanistan, the president did what he said he was going to do in the campaign which was try and beef up the efforts there because for many years the united states has taken its eye off the ball and redeployed a lot of its forces
to iraq even though the attack from 9/11 originated from afghanistan which have become nssentially a safe haven for al-qaeda. i think the president has done what he said. you mentioned yemen and other places around the world including libya. i think this president has been very clear, that he is not engaged in the kind of foreign policy where you try and bring democracy at the end of the peril of the gun as we saw under the previous president and his foreign policy. you have a much more restrained foreign policy with respect to the united states not jumping into engagements around the world. we can have a conversation later about the libyan situation, but
let me go to your point about the defense budget. there is no doubt that there is a good amount of waste in the pentagon budget as well as the budgets of some of the other security agencies. that was highlighted very clearly by two bipartisan commission's. one was the president's fiscal commission. it both recommend on a bipartisan basis that we take a close look at the defense budget. there have been reports in the last couple of days about an enormous waste in those departments. in addition to that, we should take a very hard look at what we are doing overseas and whether or not the time has come to reassess the the fact that we have troops in other parts of the world and whether or not we can, again, share the burden
more than we have in the past. i think we should take a very close look at scrutinizing the defense budget. that is been the recommendation. host: you talk about what republicans want to do and what they do not want to do to keep the government running, but water democrats willing to compromise on? what are you willing to give? guest: the democrats have already given more than half of the cuts that republicans said they wanted to make in the discretionary budget which is what we are looking at right now. they said they wanted to cut $100 billion from president obama -- they have picked this arbitrary number even though it would have a negative impact on the economy. where are we today? as of last week, we are now at
$51 billion cut from the president's budget. they demanded 100, picking an arbitrary number. we are now over $50 billion. we believe they're going further will, as a economists have told us, taking too deep of a cut too quickly would slow down the economy. say what you will about goldman sachs. they know a little bit about money. they predicted that it would cost about 750,000 jobs. you heard from one of the economic advisers to senator mccain's presidential campaign. ben bernanke testified a couple hundred thousand jobs would be lost if these cuts were taken at once. underonth's numbers were
200,000. it was a could change in direction. but why in the world would we have the -- would we be having a conversation that risks slowing down the economy? we have already made $51 billion in cuts which is a very small piece of the overall budget. if you talk about the specific cuts republicans have proposed, cuts to and i h, which offers important research on medicines to treat and cure illnesses, the fda, education, early education, college -- it is a slash and burn approach. let's look at targeted cuts. we have already done more than half of what they asked for, but let's not be irresponsible about it. caller: good morning. you mentioned earlier the historical evidence shows that
taxing the rich have of the will not be bad for the economy. how can you make that statement? guest: ended tax rates that were in place during the clinton administration -- the tax rates in place during the clinton administration did nothing to slow down the economy. you saw a roaring economy. when you get into high marginal tax rates, the kinds in the 1950's and other times, that has some impact. no one is disputing that. when you are talking about tax rates in the range that we had in the clinton administration, the economic evidence indicates that they did not slow down the economy. when you look at the house of the economy, you have to weigh a number of factors. as we have been saying in debates on a bipartisan basis,
one of those factors will be getting our deficits and debt under control. in order to provide economic stability and growth in the out years, you cannot have this big overhang of debt, so we need to bring that down, and there is a number of tools for doing that. reducing spending and to look at revenues in a reasonable way. i think people would be hard pressed to say the folks at the very top, the top 2% income earners, cannot help contribute more to reducing our national deficits and debt at a time when we all have to work together to get that done. that is the kind of discussion that we are having. you cannot do it all one way or the other way. host: omaha, neb., an independent caller, go ahead. caller: good morning.
i have been hearing the same speech for about two years now, that you are going to reduce the deficit, this and that, whatever. do you still have the same piece of paper from two years ago? now we know that was all a fallacy. there was so much borrowing and leveraging going on, and it exploded. that was not a real recovery. you keep saying the same thing. you keep on using-all of the numbers " -- you keep on using all the numbers. for instance, the tarp money. i asked my representative in person. in three or four months, where did the money go? host: a couple of issues there.
the cbo report on friday -- here is the headline from the washington post. guests, this goes to the conversation we have been having. we have to get together and get that debt and deficits down. you have projections from omb, cbo. whatever projections we should use, we should make sure that we have a plan to reduce the deficit and debt. regardless of what happened in the past, and you are obviously going to have this discussion because the past does in from the present, but we need to put together a plan.
there are some very good guideposts that of been put out by the president's commission and they said if you are going to tackle this you have to take a comprehensive approach both in discretionary programs and reforms like medicare and medicaid, but you also have to look at the revenue side of the equation. that is what we need to do. we have to come together to look at everything, put everything on the table, and try to fashion a compromise. host: paul ryan is working on his own budget for 2012. are you having conversations with him as the ranking democrat on that panel about what he is looking at? what do you think? guest: we have had some conversations. they have decided to go their own way in putting together a budget, and that is fine.
we look forward to seeing what they camcome up with. we have had hearings that look at things like medicare, medicaid, and social security. it seems to me that we should look at some of the other big pieces of this that the commission looked at. we talked about pentagon spending, tax expenditures, all of the stuff in the tax code that it distorts the market and yet is a giveaway of tax dollars through a different mechanism. we should look at all of that i would hope that everyone takes a more balanced approach to this. we look forward to what the chairman comes up with. we have had discussions. we do not know exactly what will be in there. host: what are the discussions about? guest: we talk about all of the issues on the table and try to
get some sense about whether there should be some common ground. we have had conversations about giving congress more opportunities to look at cuts that are proposed by the president. when you pass a big spending bill or an appropriations bill, the president can go through that bill and identify the things he thinks we should not be spending on. right now, that list of proposed cuts sits in a drawer. what we are saying is there should be an expedited procedure for the congress to have to consider and vote on those cuts, giving another opportunity to cut programs at least in the president's opinion are not necessary, and congress would have to make another judgment on whether or not to pass those spending measures. paul ryan has had legislation in
the past on a similar idea. we are going to try to work together. this concept should apply not just to spending but special interest tax breaks. there is no reason he should be able to do, through the tax code, what you could not do through spending. you can accomplish the same thing by providing a special tax break. both of them can distort economic activity and may not be a good use of taxpayer money. host: thank you for waiting, elliott. caller: i have a question for mr. chris van hollen. there seems like there are enough taxpayers paying the bills for this country, always taking it on the chin and being told that we have to cut back
and cut their spending, watch this and that and everything, so my question is would you politicians in washington, d.c., who are running this country, would you be willing to take a cut in your pay and pay a substantial part of your benefits that we have to pay for you? guest: as you may know, congress has frozen its pay for a long time. we recently enacted a number of measures with respect to federal employees in terms of a pay freeze, but we impose that on members of congress for is substantially longer time. i think members of congress do need to look at their own budgets. if you look of the budget for congressional operations, we have been tightening our belts to do exactly what you say, tried to make it clear that we have to take some of the very same actions that others in the
country are taking. the answer is, yes, congress should be looking at its own budget. host: howard is a republican in california. go ahead. caller: thank you and good morning, congressman. boy, where to start with this gentleman? the continuing resolution is the exact problem that was created by nancy pelosi and your group after spending four months and months on a medical bill -- excuse me, on obamacare, which is going to be proved to be unconstitutional instead of taking care of the 13 budget issues that you need to deal with, all the different departments of the federal government. but you did have a solution.
you have the grand daddy of all bills you have done in the past, which is a comprehensive bill that will cover all the expenses. something funny happened on the way to the docket. someone said lay it on the table because there was a 2010 election. host: howard, we got your point. guest: the gentlemen mentioned health care bill. we are coming up on the one-year anniversary. i think millions of americans are beginning to see the protections and benefits of that health care bill, including the fact that if you have kids with diabetes or other pre-existing conditions that you can get health insurance and he will not be discriminated against. senior citizens will get
support and there are a number of other important measures. we are nearing the one-year anniversary. with respect to the budget, what we did last year -- it was called the budget enforcement act which it did set out the spending targets for the year. when you put together a budget, its main impact and force relates to the year you are operating in. we did to the one-year budget. in december, we did pass a continuing resolution. in the house, we try to make a go through the entire year. we were prevented from doing that. we were blocked from doing that. the senate republicans said they did not want to do a full fiscal year budget at the continuing resolution level. that is why we are in this situation to date. the important thing is we get
ourselves out of it right now. we have had a lot of questions related to how we got here. the priority right now is to work together so we are not going two weeks by two weeks and we get this business behind us so we can focus on putting together a long-term plan. the priorities have to be keep the economic recovery going and put more people back to work. host: i want to address libya before we let you go. critics on both sides of the aisle are saying the president should have come to congress to get approval for this action. where do you stand on deck? -- where do stand on that? guest: i support the president's actions. this whole question of exactly what the relationship is between the executive branch and the
congress with regard to the use of force is a murky one especially when you are talking about more limited actions. the president has submitted his report to the congress in accordance with the war powers resolution. he did that just the other day, explaining the rationale behind his decision. i do believe that under the war powers act, and the clock will start taking for -- the clock will start ticking for 60 days. it is a 60-day clock. based upon what the president has said, the rationale for this action, i expect it to be a matter of days, not weeks, in terms of the united states having this primary role because of the unique assets. there are certain things the military can do that no other country is able to do but we
will be transitioning the command and control operations very quickly to either nato or some other international group. host: do you think it would be? the president to do a joint session of congress before both bodies to clarify the mission more and or speak to the american people from the white house? what do you want to hear from him? guest: he is obviously in regular contact with the folks, both at the pentagon as well as the national security advisers at the white house. certainly, if there was any thought to expanding the scope or the timing of this operation, then i think it would be very important that the president speak more broadly to the american people. he has said that this is going to be limited in scope and in
time, that this was a response to a potential humanitarian catastrophe, a potential blood bath with muammar gaddafi's forces. he made it clear he would show no mercy to his people. given all the other events in north africa in the middle east, not just the united states, but the arab league and many of our partners in the international community thought we cannot allow muammar gaddafi to act with impunity against what was clearly the popular demand for greater democracy and freedom in his country and could not allow him to slaughter innocent people. that was the reason for this action. the president said it is limited in time and scope. host: we are going to go to jackie in north carolina. caller: good morning, senator.
can you explain to me how they're guaranteed government treasury bonds can about to social security and twice that is not being addressed? guest: there has been a lot of confusion about this particular issue. when you and millions of other americans pay your payroll taxes, those revenues are credited toward the social security account, which means the social security program gets and i owe you from the federal government. these are treasury bonds. they are promises by the federal government. they are backed by the full faith and credit of the united states. that is why the social security fund has these surpluses. the amount of money coming in
from payroll taxes exceeded the amount going out. if you look at all of the funds that have accumulated to the full faith and credit through treasury bonds in the social security program to the beneficiaries, it is sufficient to pay 100% through the year 2037. beyond that date for people who are going to retire after the year 2037, if we did nothing at all, people would see a 25% drop in their benefits which is why it is important to come together to put the social security program on a fiscally sustainable footing. but for those who suggest that the social security program is not going to make do on its promises, that is a lot of scare talk and there have been people
in the past who do not support the social security program. it was vigorously debated when it was first passed as was medicare. but we need to come together to put it on a fiscally sound footing going into the future so it is good for 75 years as president reagan did back in the 1980's. host: congressmen, good to have you with us. coming up next, or in about 45 minutes, we'll talk about the role of the coast guard. coming up next, oklahoma attorney general scott pruitt will be joining us to talk about a state and federal investigation into bank marketing practices -- bank mortgage practices. first, a news update from c-span radio.
>> more reaction to the strikes in libya this morning. senator john mccain says the no- fly zone that the u.s. and allies have implemented is working, and it is time now for a no-drive zone. he said it was necessary because there would have been a horrible blood bath under muammar gaddafi without intervention. defense secretary robert gates has met with russia's minister of defense who is calling for an immediate cease-fire in libya, saying it would be the best way to protect against the further killing of civilians. the significant military fighting going on now should proceed in the next few days. as the u.s. moves to relinquished the lead, there is
disagreement in europe weather control should be turned over to nato or the british and french in the next few days. the u.s. military says both crew members are ok from the downed jet in libya. they ejected and were safely picked up. the plane was not shot down. >> and author, poet, and playwright on sunday, april 3 at noon eastern time. joining our three-hour conversation, taking your phone calls, e-mails, and tweets. watch previous programs at booktv.org were you confine the entire schedule. you are watching c-span,
bringing you politics and public affairs every morning on "washington journal." connecting it with elected officials, policymakers, and journalists. wheaties, watch live coverage of the u.s. house. also, supreme court oral arguments. on the weekends, you can see our signature interview programs. you can also watch our programming any time at c- span.org, and it is all searchable. >> "washington journal" continues. host: joining us from tulsa, okla., this morning, oklahoma attorney general scott pruitt. mr. pruitt, the discussion is
this investigation into possible foreclosure of fraud and that many people heard about last year. hundreds of documents. can you go back to the point when that was discovered and what led to this investigation? guest: last year, 50 states joined to get their to initiate a working group, investigating the foreclosure process across the country. you mentioned the notary practices that were used and abused during that timeframe. that working group began and saw many things they were concerned with. the tool to track foreclosures where banks were reaching out to mortgage holders and saying that we will modify your loan but at the same time they were seeking to foreclose. that was a problem. also, consumers were having a difficult time finding out information from their banks. there were many aspects with
respect to what started the process last year that we are continuing to look at right now. two weeks ago in washington, d.c., we received a briefing from general miller in iowa. there is a 13-state coalition that is negotiating the terms of this investigation with servers holders in the country. there were some concerns about what began as an investigation into consumer issues that related to foreclosures and the rest had turned into a situation where we were seeking to force principal productions, loan modification reductions upon banks and it morphed into something that was larger than last summer. host: it has been reported there was a sediment deal put forth,
sent to the banks that were involved in this. a bank of america, j.p. morgan chase, citigroup, wells fargo, and ally financial. where does the deal stand right now? guest: it was a 27-page draft document. during the process of negotiation, i think the concern among some ag's is a some of the terms included in that draft document included issues that were i am simply not for and others are simply not for. there are damages being sought, roughly $25 billion that would be used to modify existing loans in principle reductions across the country in various states.
that is problematic. that was the process that was rejected last year. where we are right now is ag's across the country -- let us get back to the basics of what this was all about. these new. practices that were abusive, these consumer related issues -- servicersd those service accountable. host: you and to other attorneys general penned a letter to tom miller, outlining your concerns sent on march 16. i am wondering if we could talk more about the dollar figure that you mentioned. how was that figure arrived upon?
can you explain more about what that money would do? guest: great question. many questions centered around the amount of money being sought and we did not get more information about the basis of the $25 billion or what that number might be. secondly, i think the loan modification and principal reduction discussion was linked directly to that number. all 50 states are participating in this process. that is a concern. when you look and the component of the term sheet, it is a concern for me because it violates many aspects of our state law. in one respect, if you violate the terms of the term sheet, it is considered a deceptive practice and it gives claims at the state level. that is a concern. you are seeking to modify those that owned the paper. if you come in and have loan
modifications, you are violating those mortgage agreements that of been agreed to in the marketplace. that is a concern. we sent a letter to general miller, commended him and his leadership and the other 12 states joining him, to look at the practices that we saw last year but at the same time communicated that we have a concern that perhaps this $25 billion principal right down that concerns many of us from a state law perspective. host: we are talking to oklahoma attorney general scott pruitt and the topic is about foreclosure fraud. we have a special line set aside for those who have had experience with foreclosure. mr. pruitt, what in this draft deal do you like?
guest: i think adjusting the tool to track foreclosures this is very important component. when you have a bank communicating to consumers saying let's try to work out your problems, let's try to address that through and modification of the terms, and then at the same time in beijing in foreclosure, that is a problem. -- and then at the same time going into foreclosure, that is a problem. i think the practice of a notary robo signing with anotary a notary was an abusive practice. we want the banks -- obviously, these are the five largest servicers in the country. there are working with homeowners across this country.
we have a situation where the values of homes have depreciated quite a bit, so there are some issues. oklahoma has not had the same degree of problems that perhaps california or florida or texas or other states have had. we need to make sure that the consumer and the banks are working together to address those inequities in the marketplace. i think most of those deals with the dual track foreclosures. host: here is a headline in usa today this morning. what happens next in these negotiations? will a deal stop the foreclosure crisis? guest: it is very premature to know where it is headed.
with the briefing that we received in d.c. a couple of weeks ago, the communication that we have communicated to the executive committee along with other states -- we were actually on a conference call last week with probably 10 states to call states who had similar concerns of ours -- 10 states to 12 states who had similar concerns. i think the discussions are going to continue. i get the impression that both the loan servicers as well as the ag's intent on addressing these areas that were abusive. i think the big sticking point going toare the ag's stay together to seek $25 billion to engage in principle reductions to existing
mortgages across the country? i do not see that kind of coalition standing together. we and oklahoma would not want to be a part of that process. i think it sends a wrong message. there are many folks across the country doing their best to keep up their mortgage. there are going through tough economic times. there are maintaining the commitment to keep up the terms of their mortgage. it sends a wrong message to the marketplace, both for those who are holding the mortgage and those who have granted them. it is a situation where i think a 50-state coalition would not be able to stay together on the process. host: would that stop the situation we are seeing? 40% of sales last month,
foreclosures. guest: the term sheet forces upon non-judicial foreclosure state's judicial foreclosures. there are some states across the country that do not have the judicial foreclosure as a recourse on mortgages. this forces that upon them. i do not think it would address the problem overall. in some respects, it would depress the use even further. i am not sure that is going to help evaluations across the country. host: we will go to detroit in michigan. you are up first. caller: good morning. my personal situation is the federal government came in and took my mortgage because of the lending practices they had.
my blown landed with bank of america. i contacted them for over seven months and nobody could tell me anything, where might loan was going or where my payments were going. i got me an attorney. i stopped the foreclosure proceedings. bank of america denied that they had might note. guest: i think it is a great question and something that is part of their current term sheet. a lot of homeowners do not know where their mortgage really is it. in fact, fannie mae and freddie mac, one of the loan servicers that we talked to, 80% of the paper that they -- this gentleman's question really goes to the heart of the problems we have seen in the mortgage
industry, which is they get a mortgage with their local bank, that paper is sold one or two other times, and when it comes to questions about the terms of that agreement, fees or what have you, they do not were to go in terms of finding out information. that is wrong. that needs to be addressed. they need to have the ability to communicate with people who have answers. that is a fair and that is something we need to address. that was behind our motive to investigate loan practices. that is a very important component. host: we will hear from charles in florida. caller: no jobs, no income, no income, no home sales. no taxes. these mortgage problems -- the
government has a lot of programs, none of which work. bernanke keeps throwing this money at the backs. it has done well to pump up the stock market but none of which has helped people because if you do not have a job you cannot make a payment or buy a house. c-span has become a phony program. let me tell you why. you have had three consecutive fridays with susan matching social security. it never has it been mentioned how much average social security retiree receives. why not? because they do not want to tell the truth. the way i want to approach this gentleman is this pretty much take it to launch a thousand other mortgage in it the fault. tell us the process. i understand the legal process to bring this default mortgage
back to the original owner can be as much as one-half of the mortgage. guest: charles i think is expressing something that is very real. we talked about the devaluation of homes across the country. a component that contributes to the problem is the job market that we are in, the lower wages, the ability of folks to be able to meet the loans whenever they entered into the purchase of that home. i think it is the wrong answer to come in and say the principal owned by that consumer should be reduced arbitrarily by a third party. one of the questions that was asked of general another, let's assume hypothetically that we engage in this process of getting $20 billion to $25
billion from some of these servicers. who is going to be the custodian of that money? how will we determine which states -- florida has had more of a challenge than oklahoma. how are we going to engage in this process of addressing principle write-downs and loan modifications? it is a problem. what are the consequences of that in the marketplace? i do not think that helps modifications. from a market approach, i do not think it is the best approach. when you look at the legal problems of that, you are talking about someone who has security interest in a home. in these define institutions do not own them. there are some one who are they -- who they are doing it on the
behalf of. you have is a tiered interest that is being devalued without a recourse. that is the problem. host: of the proponents of this idea say it is good for the marketplace because it would help keep the homeowner in the house to help keep the value of that mortgage for investors. in would retain more value than it would in foreclosure. -- it would retain more value than it would in foreclosure. guest: most servicers do not want a vacant home. we are assuming that perhaps the only answer is for some third party to come in and extract money from these providers and then act as an arbitrer and then making that decision. i think it is best for the consumer and that bank to make that decision on a case by case basis.
i think having a mascot review this would hurt of the valuation of the home substantially across the country particularly in the state's. host: let's go to renee. caller: you are supposed to represent the people, not the banks or foreclosures. fraud is against all lot. those people who have been defrauded and foreclosed upon, what do they get out of it? for: let's get an answer the question. guest: the fraud that you are speaking of -- if there were processes taken by banks to engage in dual track foreclosure were they were seeking to remedy a default by a homeowner or they had documents
signed in in proper fashion, they need to be held accountable. that is the reason why the 50 states joined together last summer to say those kind of practices need to be addressed and the servicers who engage in this practice is a need to be held accountable. that is not what we are talking about right now. the biggest part of this discussion is this a coalition being used to the average servicers to extract money out of the process to engage in the modification. there are consequences of that the problematic for everyone across this country. when we look at the loss that the woodbridge, i am very concerned about that -- when we look at the laws that that would bridge, i am very concerned
about that. caller: i have to disagree with you and let you know that unfortunately the process is still taking place. once you start negotiating a modification agreement for your loan and you have a competitive agreement established, what the lender is still doing is a three-month preliminary payment with that new modification. in the meantime, they are in a 90-day period. the reason they are doing that is so they do not miss out on the 90-day window. this happens to be a bank in the top five. my real question is does your agreement go beyond that top five lender group for all lenders in all states? guest: it is a great question.
right now, the discussion is with those five services. i can tell you that whatever is agreed to in this term sheet will affect those other services across the country. you are talking about setting standards in this agreement that would address situations that you described. it is also problematic in needs to be prohibited and there needs to be some enforcement mechanism to make sure that does not happen. just because it is these five services, it does not mean it would not apply to others in the marketplace. host: the five banks that we are talking about -- bank of america, j.p. morgan chase, citigroup, wells fargo, and allied financial. guest: there has been no litigation filed.
these are allegations being made with respect to these five and servicers. some may be more egregious, bad actors than others. we are investigating to learn just what the gentleman shared. that is what this 13-state coalition, the 50 states that have joined together, that is the kind of information we are addressing to make informed decisions. there has not been a proven liability which all five of the servicers that they engaged in these practices consistently across the board. i think that is important. this is an approach by the 50- state attorney general to look at the most egregious acts that affect consumers in the most harmful way and address that. i think the concern i have articulated is that is a good place to begin.
we have gone to something far more, i think, harmful for the market place overall with the reduction issues we have talked about. there has not been litigation or liability or a lawsuit, if you will, a multi-state lawsuit proven across-the-board for all the servicers. host: when will the investigation and? guest: we do not know. it is a process that is fluid. the executive committee is receiving information from the various ag's across the country to say this is what we like, take this back to the negotiating table, find out what it is, and let's address these issues in a collaborative way. hopefully they are taking that into consideration.
there is nothing that forces the party, honestly, to come together to engage in this discussion other than the threat of lawsuits. when you get into principal and loan modification that of bridges state laws, that encourages non-judicial foreclosure states to engage in a judicial foreclosures, that is where you start losing the momentum of dealing with these very basic and fundamental consumer-related issues that affect consumers day in and day out. host: the executive committee that is looking into this -- where they put out a report? guest: i think the goal of the process is to get get a political settlement. it is to get an agreement. it is a collaborative document
that articulate, from servicers, to say that we find these practices to be inconsistent with what we need to say on behalf of consumers. part of my responsibility, and others across the country, is to represent the interest of consumers. these efforts should be focused on that. i think you will see momentum like we did last summer. you will start to see focus on the $25 billion in damages. it is not the numbers so much as it is what you will do with the money. modifying existing mortgages. if you are going to do that with that money, that is problematic for many of us across the country. that is the bigger question and why many of these folks have concerns.
host: let's hear from sharon in pennsylvania. caller: this was 10 years ago it started long before this was going on now. i had my home with itnt financial services. they closed up shop. i had to find that out from a friend. i tried to find out where they were and i never found out where they went. it took me months to find out where my mortgage went. first it went to pittsburgh, where i never got an answer from anyone in that place. then it went to wisconsin, where they insisted that i pay them with western union. then it went to georgia. in all of that moving around,
they lost by payments and i was dumb enough not to keep one western union payment. i have all of the others. they foreclosed on my house. host: your thoughts? guest: she is articulating something similar to the gentleman earlier, not knowing where your mortgage is held. that is something that needs to be addressed because of the buying and selling of paper that we see in this industry. consumers again need to know the status. not just with respect to dealing with foreclosure situations. consumers need to know how much principle they are producing. what is the amortization schedule. what if i want to get ahead this year? it is good practice for a consumer to know the status of note. what we have seen with the buying and selling the paper is consumers not knowing who
actually owns it. through these discussions we can fix this as far as communications. fannie mae and freddie mac are not part of this discussion. they own a good deal of this paper. it is my estimation and belief that the owner of paper can sometimes influence services being provided in the marketplace. do we need to have a discussion as a working group what culpability and responsibility do fannie mae and freddie mac have in this process? as you know, in instances that i shared earlier, one of these servicers, 80% of their paper is owned by freddie mac. where do you find this
information, it is important to look at. host: we have an e-mail from a viewer that asks if you are opposed to all penalties. guest: there needs to be accountability in fraud situations if it is shown that they have engaged in them. there need to be penalties or accountability associated with that. again, that is not what we are talking about, presently. we are talking about extracting a large sum of money and that is the biggest issue. using this money to engage in loan principal modification. we have a responsibility across this country to uphold rule of law contracts that have been entered into an see a process
outside of that affected in this way, it is problematic. host: suzanne, republican, california, you are next. caller: in my line of work i provide documents to escrow. the loans fannie mae and freddie mac are buying are so bad. for example, four months ago a lender came to me to get documents and was telling me to hurry up and that we had to get this. it had four loans with no payments to be made. there were no payments scheduled for these loans. i found out that my own personal home mortgage had been sold to freddie mac. this problem is not being fixed.
everyone is drowning. guest: that is exactly what we just talked about. there is a policy that emanates from washington, d.c. that says to be aggressive and saturate the market place with currency to buy homes, pushing servicers to engage in these abhorrent practices. i think that that is a fair question that the person brings up. what responsibility, what role do fannie mae and freddie mac have in this discussion? these folks we are talking to were simply servicing the notes. obviously, in certain instances that was done in a fashion that
was problematic. this process through the folks that own the paper to the servicers and, ultimately, the consumer, we need to look at all aspects of it. host: conn., democratic line. caller: i have had a problem trying to get a mortgage myself. i have been in loan modification for two years. i filled out the same applications. every time they wanted me to fill out papers, they want everything in two weeks. they do not do anything in a timely manner. in three months they tell me that everything has to be redone. it is starting to take a toll on me. i had a financial counselor fill
out the paperwork two years ago. i am trying to get a making homes affordable loan. my gross income against by mortgage had to be 31%. i was told that i was eligible for a 2% to 4% low. they had be filling out the same paper work. why do they not have to do things in a timely manner, but when they want papers they give you a deadline to put your paperwork in? they are eating at my equity with my mortgage. thank you. guest: i think that one of the things that we see in the current environment that some what contributes to the issue that he is describing is this financial protection bureau. you have a discussion about
their regulations of the marketplace, if you will, and in some instances different requirements are being placed upon banks. a state chartered bank in oklahoma subject to fdic is facing different standards of overdraft protection. the paperwork that drives banks really, in their respect, is problematic as well. and the consumer is bearing the brunt of that. i am not sure that that is part of the scope of the 27 page document and what it will consist of, ultimately. practices that affect paper work and how you assign them and get notary's done, you talk about loan modification going through
right now. making sure that there is not foreclosure going on with it that modification. there are aspects of the document, if there is an agreement reached, that will address the things he is encountering. the paperwork he is talking about is literally indicative of the various agencies involved in working with banks in the different requirements being placed on banks depending on their status. that causes confusion in the marketplace. host: one more quick phone call. john, conn., you have to make it very quick. we are running out of time. caller: i agree wholeheartedly about not reducing the principal. because you are picking winners and losers. the moral hazard is that you are taking the people that decided to stop paying their mortgage. every one that pays their mortgage and their house is
under water, they get nothing. i think it is unfair. that is all. host: -- guest: this goes to what we talked about earlier, this has encouraged more foreclosures. the people trying to meet their requirements and are working with their banks to look at how to work this thing out, and engaging in what is happening right now, are they just going to wash their hands of this? do they just want the money that is owed to them? that is what we are talking about as far as problematic in the marketplace. >> scott pruitt, -- host: scott pruitt, thank you for talking to the wrist this morning. guest: thank you for your time. host: part of this settlement that took place last week, but during the house financial subcommittee elizabeth warren,
an adviser to the treasury secretary and the president, was testifying about her role and the agency's role in any sort of settlement that would go forth between the banks. take a listen. >> as you know, this consumer agency is still getting started and has no enforcement authority. they will not be a part of mortgage settlement with servicers. later this year, the bureau will receive the authority to set the standards for the mortgage servicing industry. for this reason, secretary timothy geithner, the justice department, and other agencies have requested that consumer agencies provide advice on these matters. we have provided our comments. let me tell you why. if there had been a cop on the beat with the authority to hold mortgage servicers accountable
half of a dozen years ago -- if there had been a consumer agency in place, the problem in mortgage servicing would have been exposed early end fixed while they were still small. host: you can pull it up and watch it on your computer, that is elizabeth warren testifying last week. an update on the situation in libya. two aircraft jets and the cargo craft were headed towards the area thursday. the first signs of military operations by catarrh to enforce the no-fly zone over libya. first, a news update from c-span radio. >> more on libya. an update from germany, they are calling for the european union to impose a complete oil and gas embargo this week.
the foreign minister says that no one knows how long fighting the last, but it is important to make sure that gaddafi cannot get his hands of fresh money. he says that this week's summit should spend -- send a strong signal that the european union no longer does business with gaddafi. germany is not participating in the no-fly zone and abstained in the un resolution authorizing it. turning to national politics, claire mccaskill last night in a remark by conference call admitted that she failed to pay for years of taxes on a private airplane and has convinced her husband to sell it. it is owned by a delaware corporation set up by her husband. the senator went on to say that she will never set foot on that airplane again. some of the latest headlines from c-span radio. >> this past week the house and
senate passed a short-term spending bill. the house passed legislation banning federal funding for public radio and provided money to ban foreclosed homes. watch online using the c-span congressional chronicle. that is c-span.org/congress. every weekend, experience american history on c-span 3. 48 hours of people and events, telling the american story. firsthand accounts of oral history shaping of mahler -- modern america. featuring the best known history writers of the past decade, travel to important battlefield to learn about the 150th anniversary of the civil war. every weekend professors delve into america's past during lectures and history.
join curators and historians behind-the-scenes at historic sites on american artifacts. focusing on the policies and legacies of presidents as told through the insights of the administration officials and experts. all weekend, every weekend. get the complete schedule online or have them e-mail to you using c-span alert. >> "washington journal" continues. host: rear admiral paul zukunft, of the commandant for the navy, let's begin. there is a small implementation plan that was released to the public recently. what does this involve? what is it? what is the role of the coast guard by a national security around the borders and the water. >> as many people know, we have
14 million recreational boaters to route the united states. we went back to the initial preliminary attempts to look at the attack on the o'sullivan and looked at the uss cole and the mumbai attack. one year ago the supertanker mstar was attacked by small vessels in the strait of hormuz, where 40% of global oil transits through that point. it is a $1 trillion industry for economic security. these very same ports are also open to recreational vessels. we put a regime in place where we could share those comments and conduct recreation to provide security with situational awareness of these many vessels out there. working with our stakeholders
and also dhs, as well as customs border concur -- patrol. >> what constitutes -- host: what constitutes a small vessel? guest: vessels that would not be required to provide the united states with a 96 hour advance notice of arrival. so, we have integrated operations center is that monitor traffic in these waterways. we look for the anomaly amongst these 14 million vessels out there. host: give us a percentage of a terrorist attack from a small vessel. guest: we look at the risk. carriers that carry dangerous cargo. for those particular vessels you will see two armed cut coast
guard vessels escorting them. they are trained to shoulder of any vessel that would attempt to detonate itself. meaning that they would be the first layer of the fence. host: to prevent the situation that you encountered? guest: exactly. host: why is this plan coming out now? how much does it cost to keep an eye on these 14 million vessels? guest: the coast guard was called upon to do enhance security in our ports. located throughout the ports in the united states, as well as
the same small boats stations that do day to day search and rescue, much of this work was training our people against this new threat in the 21st century. the cost was incremental, but it was factored into our day-to- day operation. in the end we worked closely with the intelligence community to look at where the threats are so that we do not lay down a draconian security layer that inhibits use of our waters for recreation purposes. host: where is the most risk across the country? where can you tell us that we are the most vulnerable? guest: we look at the critical nature of some of those boards. when we look at the straits, not
just for the maritime commerce, but the essential nature of the pork complex like long beach, actually two ports that comprise the largest in the united states. new york, clearly a critical economic link to our european partners. galveston is a key petrochemical corridor for petrochemical products. we cannot afford a disruption to that global supply chain. clearly, we will look at where those threats are. we can push back to where the threat is the greatest. for example, we had an attack in texas this past year. it was a murdered by drug cartels. we moved these same teams to the falcon lake.
we did not catch the bad guys, but as threats shift we can move forces. host: this is from congressman carter on monday, pushing for facts on the rio grande. beefed up deployment of coast guard patrols. your reaction? guest: there is a threat there. we also have a threat along the u.s.-mexican border on basis. there are mexican launches along the u.s. this is a multibillion dollar industry. we have migrant activity and drug activity on the border. within our resource base, we are fully employed and this would require additional capacity for the coast guard to address.
host: the budget for 2012? the request put forward by the president, with this debate happening on capitol hill over funding for this year, is the coast guard in the cross hairs when it comes to spending cuts? >> every agency is. it is incumbent upon us, and one of our key concerns is the deficit. we are amongst the federal family in managing our operations for budget constraints. we are pleased to see the commitment of the 2012 budget to capitalization of major resources. host: our first call for the admiral, you are on the air. guest: -- caller: that caught --
that captain in the port of aden was at fault. not the one with the coast guard, but he did not send those teams away, he did not inspect everything coming into his vessel. every time that i see him on a television channel, i cringe. i was on the bridge many times and i know what we had to go through to pull in to the port. anyways, that is one point. it is his fault for not doing his job, which is harsh. in the ballast tanks of salt water vessels we have had invasive species coming in. what are we doing to stop that? guest: first of all, on the uss cole, my focus is the threat. there are terrorists that will use the domain to stage the attacks, looking at large
vessels carrying dangerous cargoes. they are dependent upon the u.s. government to provide a buffer of security. we look at the fact that there is a track record of terrorist activity exploiting the domain. we see that as our responsibility to provide a safeguard and security for the global supply chain. with respect to invasive species, won immediate threat -- we have worked very closely with the army corps of engineers for the invasive species indication and the corps of engineers implemented an electrical fence, if you will. but we are really working internationally to establish a balanced water protocols to prevent these invasive species from boat -- proliferating. but it must be a consortium of
willing partners throughout the global domain. so, we are developing standards. one of the challenges that we will have, state-by-state, is developing more stringent standards where technology may not exist to provide the safeguards they are looking for. particularly within the great lakes. we are fleeing gauge with stakeholders and elected officials in the great lakes region. host: mike, your next. like, turn your television down, you are on the air. go ahead. caller: by was wondering if they were thinking about getting the draft back. with all of the uncertainty going on overseas and stuff like that. host: i am not sure that the admiral can speak to that. but you can speak to a role of
the coast guard. guest: we aren't all voluntary service. i have been a part of the service since the draft existed, believe it or not. i will say that the quality and competency of the people that we are having joined the service, i have never seen it at the level that we have right now, where we have recruits showing up at training centers, some of them with master's degrees. we really have had no difficulty whatsoever meeting recruiting goals. along with some of the other services, i erotically be have a retention problem. that is that we have such a high retention rate, it is difficult to make room for new sections. host: why is the coast guard in areas like japan and other places when most people would
think of the coast guard as simply monitoring our own u.s. water. guest: but the coast guard brings to the table in support of other services is an armed service, but we also have broad enforcement authority to impose sanctions that are less defense operations and more law enforcement. we can certainly use those authorities unique to the coast guard, integrated with other services. for example, as part of task force 151, the counter-piracy operation, we have employed law enforcement personnel with ships' conducting patrols in the eastern pacific and caribbean, augmented by law enforcement teams. if a naval warship detects a
drug smuggler, we would then shift the tactical command of the navy ship to the u.s. coast guard. law enforcement teams on interdiction would find a seamless handoff. looking at what the threats are in tomorrows environment, seeing more and more the use of law enforcement skills. host: when the united states authorizes sanctions against the country, you are stopping what kinds of vessels from trying to get those products in? guest: mostly verifying the cargo on board. we go on board with certain monitoring devices. radiological detectors. we are using the same inspection protocol here in the united states for the literally tens of
thousands of vessels that arrived and that we inspect on an annual basis. there has been some concern of vessels arriving from the south china sea that might be contaminated. this is in tag will to the day to day operations. we have had no cause for concern. host: in ithaca, n.y., in the pending caller. caller: good morning, admiral. but father is a retired chief, i was a postal late. i joined in 1966. in a rare breed. stationed in 1968 on the u.s. coast -- u.s. coast guard federal by in the north china sea. every time that they talk about the coast guard, it drives me nuts. the coast guard is one of the
oldest branches, in fact it is the second oldest branch in the united states. what people do not understand is that the coast guard can board and the vessel at sea without it being an act of war. that is a unique thing about the coast guard, something they wanted to get rid of. i still unknown a boat. i still ride the seas. i go out in connecticut. as you know, the base there, my last unit was the u.s. coast guard cutter victory. host: before you go, tell us your best moment working for the coast guard. guest -- caller: we were off of vietnam's anbar it was kind of crazy. one night we got into a firefight.
they were after navy swift boats. we cruised right in on the beach. and as the emerald can tell you, with no sharks -- charts that is pretty damn. guest: have had the pleasure of spending many years at sea, and manning three ships. once we shot up a drug boat similar to your experience, perhaps. we look at our small vessel security strategy and we clearly do not have a fleet in the coast guard, but what we do have are very good working relationships with a number of the marina's.
it is those people that are on the water, americans like yourself, when they see an anomaly, they call it in. in addition to our armed vessels, we have also armed helicopters domestically. it is a slightly different coastguard. we have snipers and helicopters. last night we shot outcome a drug smuggler from the caribbean. we would use the same approach with their was a small boat attack. often the first notice with these crimes are citizens like yourself. host: this tweet message -- guest: it really is a global domain. talking about what we monitor,
we monitor over 180 nations who conduct a maritime commerce with the united states. there are port security codes handle by the international maritime association. we handle each report to verify that they are in compliance with international standards. on the basis of those findings, if a flag is not in compliance, vessels arriving to the united states in the inspection on that vessel before it arrives it does give us an -- advanced warning. host: another twitter message based on your earlier comments
about mexican fisherman. guest: no, this is think it -- strictly the impact it has on the economy. as we have seen in the bering sea, this is a multi-billion dollar industry. -- this is a multi-billion dollar industry. caller: i wanted to commend the coast guard and the admiral. but by have two nephews in the coast guard. one of them was coast guard of the year a few years ago. i wanted to say thank you.
what is your question or comment? caller: can you hear me? host: yes. caller: about it would be a great idea for the coast guard to step up on bigger national security issues. host: all right. are you taking on national security we work closely with the department of justice and there'd joint terrorism task forces, to name a few. clearly there are partners because we have homeland security and homeland and we
have been able to leverage those relationships where, perhaps, in these past is a collaborative process that we have right now, working internationally. i will legend and -- that the challenges that we used to face, where they would enter the territorial seas of another nation, at that point we would have to break off pursuit. today we have 37 bilateral agreements for transit zones that allows us to enter those territorial seas, conducting pursue in >> rear admiral, and
it sounds more like the coast guard is acting as the dea. guest: they are a few former of the owners. one of my previous but the focus is on the drove, and as a maritime and people look at interdiction as well at the mall. if you intervene once, someone else will take the place in. completing that cycle is the prosecution aspect, to give an example. during the prosecution is where
we get the forensics of these drug trafficking organizations. there is no honor among thieves. it is possible that as we contract, we can gain further information on other activity. allowing us to do further interdictions. as a result, the number of resources that we have applied remains costly. host: let's go to syracuse, new york. caller: thank you. i used to be in the coast guard myself in the early 1990's. what all of this increase for what we are responsible for, i do not see a significant increase in personnel or materials to implement these responsibilities. could you comment, is there a
chance to get more resources? the maritime transportation security at and we had been through a growth phase. ' at the same time we are working much more collaborative lee with the department of homeland security. really there is a federal monday that has been brought under -- federal mandate brought under one banner. it has allowed us to take advantage of those relationships and find out where the gaps are.
host: this twitter message says -- host: point pleasant, new jersey. good morning. caller: my question isn't flotillas that we see when we go down and come back to the keys. can we travel to cuba for fishing tournament? guest: that policy was just recently renewed. i went to the straits of florida, but not to enter the seize of cuba.
purchase it by various methods. people that transport drug for rothley your order. we have not seen the reverse of the cash flow host: my question, what does the navy seal team do for the coast guard, exactly? guest: we have sent a handful of folks in there because we are actually training our coast guard in the same tactics. clearly, not to be certification level of a navy seal, but this is just to build competency they
have a 7 year commitment to the navy seals before they determine the coast guard. >> we just did a minesweeper for president acquire at the air force base. i saw a coast guard lt. making their way to iraq. i shook my head and said -- good luck, god bless. admiral, it is nice to see you on television. that is all i have to say. host: if those officers were
handed 4 tupi over the air, we will work closely with intelligence. i do not know of the creation of a and 1790 fellow look. host: in libya the associated press is reporting that gaddafi forces and rebel forces are in a standoff and that libya and a doctor there is reporting that tanks are in the streets,
host: there are several that were denied. one dates back eight years that was looking for air shipments of cocaine coming out of columbia. disputed over the inadvertency to down of missionaries. other programs from libya announced just this past weekend. host: john, connecticut. good morning. caller: but was an army died during the korean era. my brother was 22 f for his 17th birthday. hot telling my mother that he was going to wind up in the north atlantic. i have a son that spent four duress in the coast guard. i have always admired the coast
guard. in washington they are looked upon not as a full-service, and i think it is a great service. i tell anyone that i talk to, you are not lost. it has the best spaces in the world. host: do you think that the coast guard has to work harder than other armed services agencies to prove legitimacy? guest: i have worked very closely with other armed services. you can see the risk that they take on a daily basis. not just men and women, this is a family package. i will say that we are much
better resource that we have been in years past. we always used to pride ourselves on doing more with less. the move to the department of homeland security certainly cost much of our maritime security equity to come to bear. certainly within the department of homeland security be provide support through the department of transportation. but we are well placed for today and tomorrow's threats. host: as the assistant commandant out for the coast guard, he recently served as the coordinator in the deep water horizon incident in the gulf, where he directed response efforts. i wanted to show you the headlines from "the washington post" this morning. "u.s. approves shell exploration
planned." host: what is the status of the situation in the gulf dampened -- in the gulf? guest: blend the deepwater rise in exploded on april 20, there was every expectation that the blowoff prevent to which your and wash the petroleum. as we know, there was the tragic loss of the 11 people on that great. and then a spill that approximates 5 million barrels. the largest in history. bringing that well under control, but of those plans did not exist on the 20th of april. particularly the july capping stack, from july 15 onwards as
you look at new explorations, having that equipment on the shelf and ready to go in the event of a worst-case scenario was absolutely critical if we were going to continue further exploration. host: here is the press release from the coast guard, they found the long patch of discolored do was floating in the gulf of mexico. can you comment? tesco any further oil, there is going to be a lot of scrutiny that this is residual oil from the deep water horizon. having been down there and
conducted over 100 flyovers looking for oil, taking out many elected officials in august, three weeks after this that was in place, not a trace of oil could be found on the surface. we went to the extra effort of looking forlorn oil on the ocean floor. there was some residual, but these communities suffered a devastating blow from hurricanes and an oil spill. it will always rekindle what happened in the past year, stories over oil. host: david, republican line. caller: might one comment, but i am 28 years retired from the coast guard. i enjoyed every minute of my
career. the comment that i have, the biggest problem i have had -- and it is getting better, is that the public recognition prospect of the service still exists. host: good morning, c-span. admiral. my father was in world war one. my brother died in you if you love. my older sister is them in florida. -- l. in florida. i have one question, admiral.
for is a problem that your vote fraud jeff free to vote fraud jeff -- is that a problem that your boat project turned out unfortunately? host: are you referring to the cover? caller: they have been junked. are you still doing business with them? guest: a great question. we have overhauled our entire acquisition enterprise. that has moved in house for the coast guard, using our technical experts and not the relationship that we had. that was a different deepwater during that unfortunate event. host: how much money was spent?
providing a service life extension was a project that was well over $100 million that we will be play it -- we are ready to later rest. host: the plan has been scrapped. guest: yes. host: republican line. lewis. caller: what is the future of the c g i s program? guest: the coast guard intelligence service is very robust. we have a number of units for the last six years that have brought the coast guard in as a member of the national
intelligence community writ large. you cannot have self-controlling information without it. that investment was made in human capital to be fully vetted members of the health community. host: oklahoma, independent line. caller: great host, great questions. i am proud to have this admiral in our armed services. getting to my question, regarding the asian car crisis, as well as the zebra mussel crisis -- i am sure that he is aware -- in america, the waterways. anyways, zebra mussels. i would like to know what is going on with it that crisis. host: we will get an answer. guest: that horse has long since
left the barn. certainly we hear from environmental groups and private industries about the impact that deaver and mussels have on industry and the ecosystem. it has taken a while for these invasive species regulations to take seats and come up with a protocol for how to safely treats a ballast water for what will turn out to be discharged and mitigate any impact on the environment. we are looking for the technological solutions for species on a global scale. again, it is unfortunate for the zebra mussels and the impact that they have had in the maritime domain. host: george, independent caller, last fall call. caller: this is george from lynchburg, virginia. i used to live in the tidewater
area. i can tell you that i was enormously impressed with your professionalism. the youngsters that used to get on board fishing notes -- fishing boats. those four years were the finest. keep up the good work. we are very proud of you. host: i do not think that anyone enjoys being pulled over at sea by the coast guard. but we do emphasize, with our young people as well, to be professional. you are the customers and i would impress upon my folks to strikeout